As I peer into my proverbial crystal ball to see what the future holds in Enterprise Tech for the year ahead, I can’t but help going back to my early teens to the year 1985 and reminisce one of my favorite movie of all time. In the the smash hit Hollywood trilogy Back to the Future, director and creator Robert Zemeckis imagineeered what our world would be like in the year that now stands before us, 2015. Fan’s will recall in his second installment, the eccentric Doctor Emmett Brown who incarnated a time machine out of coupe propelled the teenage rock star wannabe Marty McFly in a flying Delorean thirty years into the future to give us this glimpse.
Despite Zemeckis’ loathe to create a film that predicts the future, he did manage to get a few things right! And even if we don’t have flying cars zooming across our skies, those uber cool self lacing Nike’s or hover boards (there are a number of promising prototypes), innovations like video phones (Skype), controllerless motion sensing video games (Microsoft Kinect & Nintendo Wii) and biometric identifying payment systems (Apple Pay & Hitachi’s Finger Vein technology) are very much part of our lives today.
Economists and even psychics will admit predicting the future is super hard to do, but arguably Zemeckis’ greatest achievement in this film is depicting just how much technology has become embedded in every day life.
Similarly, the interplay between business and technology appears not only more seamless than ever before, but critical. As we have seen exciting new markets emerge, age old companies falter and consumer service expectations forever changed, the winners of tomorrow’s economy are those who are transforming today.
The Business Defined IT era is here, and the need for IT organizations to embrace the third platform that is built on mobile devices, cloud services, social networks and big data analytics is now. The CIO must respond to these trends and become an architect and broker of business services rather than technology builder focused on data center infrastructure.
Here in Asia Pacific, although CIO’s have won the respect of the business, moving upwards may take more convincing. According to a recent study from the Economist Intelligence Unit, almost nine-in-ten (89%) surveyed believe the CIO has a strategic role that goes beyond managing the IT function. However nearly one-in-three (30%) respondents do not believe the CIO should be a candidate to succeed the CEO.
Together with Hu Yoshida’s top 10 technology predictions for 2015, I have set the time circuits on to identify how they will play out in 5 key social and business trends evolving in this dynamic region;
#1 - Smart City initiatives will drive greater investment in the Internet of Things
Asia Pacific countries are amongst the largest and fastest-growing urban areas on the planet. It also has some of the worlds most underdeveloped infrastructure, densest cities, fastest growing energy consumption, busiest transport routes, active natural events and arguably most at threat of climate change. The opportunity for Internet of Things and Machine to Machine interaction is now apparent, as a number of Governments across the region have committed to national initiatives to propel the proliferation of smart cities. Read more here.
#2 - Competitive industries will ramp up Big Data initiatives to gain competitive advantage
Although adoption of Big Data across the region remains low comparatively to other geographies, organizations operating in competitive industries are no longer looking at it as an initiative, but as an imperative. As initial projects show promising new insights and customer engagement, other companies will make similar investments to drive a new “arms race” in key verticals. Read more here.
#3 - Hybrid Cloud will emerge as the preferred way to deploy Enterprise Applications
As cloud platforms reach a level of maturity and established vendors and service providers in the region fiercely compete for market share, the stage is set for organizations to transform their core applications on a mix of Private and Public clouds. Solutions which integrate both platforms to deliver a seamless Hybrid Cloud experience will help organizations realize better alignment of cost whilst at the same time meeting important privacy and compliance requirements. Read more here.
#4 - The mobile explosion will prompt supporting information infrastructure to be more data-driven
Asia Pacific is the world largest mobile region, with analysis showing 1.7 billion unique subscribers in 2013 making it half of the global connected population. Over 750 million new subscribers are expected to join over the next 5 years.
The launch of high-speed 4G services across the region are helping remove limits on internet use and giving smaller businesses greater outreach to customers, and fundamentally changing the way in which we interact. Read more here.
#5 - As technology drives more implications for personal privacy, business will increase investments to address compliance
With technology now pervasive and Government’s introducing new or updated privacy regulations across Asia Pacific, organisations will be forced to place greater emphasis on their internal privacy policies and look to technology to assist them. Organisations that successfully transition to the new privacy-protected era will have introduced a culture of compliance to their employees, and made smart investments in their data collection and audit practices. Read more here.
Over the next few blogs posts, I plan to talk more detail about how these technologies will evolve in the context of business outcomes, as well also surface use cases and companies already leading the charge.
So buckle up and lets take this puppy up to 88 miles per hour…
UPDATE: We will be hosting a Google Hangout with an all star lineup of panelists on the 28th January. Plan to join in the discussion!